Women's Hockey Advances To NCAA Championship

March 17, 2005

3/18/05 - Middlebury advanced to the title game of the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship with a convincing 7-3 win over Gustavus Adolphus College on Friday evening in Elmira, New York.  The Panthers exploded for four goals in the second period to break open a tight game and pull away from the Gusties. The Panthers will take on Elmira, a 4-3 winner over Plattsburgh, in the title game on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

The game started out at a very quick pace with both teams pushing the puck aggressively up and down the ice.  The Panthers got the first good scoring opportunity five minutes into the contest when Shannon Sylvester got free in front of the Gustavus net and deflected a pass by Abby Kurtz-Phelan right at Gustie goaltender Kara Meyer.  Meyer came up with the point blank save of Sylvester's shot to keep the Panthers at bay. Middlebury would make good on its next opportunity however, as senior forward Emilly Quizon broke free behind the Gustavus defense and slid the puck between Meyer's legs to give the Panthers a 1-0 leat at the 13:28 mark.  The Gusties would charge back and net the equalizer when freshman forward Molly Doyle re-directed senior forward Laura Stypulkowski's pass just past the stick of Middlebury goaltender Kate Kogut at 15:11 of the opening period.  The first period ended with the score tied 1-1 and Gustavus holding a slim 6-4 advantage in shots.

Middlebury picked up the pace at the beginning of the second period and clearly put Gustavus on the defensive with its aggressive forecheck.  The Panthers would start to distance themselves from the Gusties with two goals just two minutes apart.  Emily Quizon gave Middlebury a 2-1 lead with her second goal of the game at the 4:28 mark and then Abby Kurtz-Phelan extended the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal at the 6:41 mark.  Gustavus managed to keep the Panthers off the board for the next 10 minutes, but Middlebury broke the game open with two goals :30 seconds apart in the 18th minute.  Gloria Velez made the score 4-1 at 17:24 and Lorna Gifis increased the lead to 5-1 at 17:52.  The Panthers charged into the locker room with a commanding 5-1 lead.

Gustavus got a break just :40 seconds into the third period when Middlebury was whistled for two penalties on the same possession, giving the Gusties a 5-on-3 advantage for two minutes.  The Gusties peppered Middlebury's Kate Kogut for the entire two minutes and had multiple scoring opportunities but could not get the puck past Kogut who made several big saves.  Shortly after the Gusties power play opportunity, Middlebury was given a chance with the advantage and the Panthers took only :17 seconds to increase their lead to 6-1 on a goal by Ellen Sargent at 7:57.  Gustavus kept the pressure on Middlebury and finally registered its second goal at the 9:18 mark on an unassisted power play goal by Brittany Northagen.  Trailing 7-2, Gustavus coach Mike Carroll pulled his goaltender for an extra skater with 3:35 left in the game.  The Gusties were able to take advantage and cut the lead to 6-3 when Andrea Peterson scored with :25 left in the game.  On the ensuing face-off, Middlebury's Lorna Gifis found the Gusties open net at the 19:25 mark to make the final score 7-3 in favor of the Panthers.

The Gusties posted an NCAA record 25 shots on goal in the third period, while Middlebury's Kate Kogut registered an NCAA record 23 saves in the period.

Gustavus did end up out-shooting Middlebury 36-22 in the contest.  Kogut registered 33 saves in a winning effort, while the Gusties Kara Meyer posted 14 saves while suffering the loss.

-courtesy Gustavus Adolphus-